Why work with a custom manufacturer? Custom manufacturers can offer you many benefits that are not available with manufacturers that work solely from a portfolio of existing plans. The greatest is the ability to take ideas from many places and incorporate them into a plan that is unique and truly the customer’s own.
What are the costs associated with designing a custom home? While the task of designing your own home might sound intimidating and expensive, the costs associated with designing your home typically run less than one percent of the building budget. An average custom home plan will cost $800 – $1,500 and will include the elevations, floor plans, a foundation plan, section and a building detail sheet. If one simply wants to modify an existing RippleCraft floor plan, the cost is usually reduced from this level depending upon the type and scope of the changes required.
What is the process of custom design? Rarely is a customer thrilled with every aspect of an existing plan. However, looking at floor plans and elevations can be the best place to start when designing a home. Most customers spend months or even years looking through industry publications and company literature before deciding what to build and with whom to build.
The exact cost of a custom log home can only be arrived at once blueprints are produced. We can, however, provide a ballpark estimate for the proposed home based upon dimensions, sketches and certain features. The price estimate is determined by studying the plan’s size and design, multiplied by the cost factor of the materials kit you wish to purchase. This estimated price of a log package is a valuable tool for settling your home into the targeted price range.
After arriving at an acceptable estimated price, the customer is referred to a designer who is familiar with our building technology. The design work can take from a week to more than a month depending upon how quickly the “dream” plan can be arrived at between the designer and customer. After we receive a copy of the final blueprints, we are then able to provide a “contract price” for the materials kit. Arriving at the final price will typically take less than two weeks.
What selected features have an impact on the final cost of a custom home? A quick answer is everything-and until we know what features are included we can only estimate the cost of a home. A short list of these variables would include the following but would not be limited to only these:
A ranch or one story home typically contains 14 rows of 8″ logs. A two-story would normally contain 15 rows of 8″ logs on the first floor. However, a customer can purchase additional rows to increase ceiling height under loft areas or to extend roof overhangs.
Number of corners-a home rectangular in shape will be less expensive than one that has more than four corners. Since logs overlap and extend past the corner, the footage of logs required to construct additional corners will cost more. Another thing to consider here is that every time a corner is added to a home it reduces the square footage of the home while at the same time increasing the materials cost. Bummer.
Another thing to note is that a perfect square in a log home package will be less expensive than a non-square rectangle. The quick example is that a home with dimensions of 24’x24′ will have a perimeter of 96′ and a square footage of 576, while a home that is 23’x25′ will also have a perimeter of 96′ but only a square footage of 575. Of course this effect is compounded the farther out of square the floor plan becomes.
The brand and type of windows you decide to purchase, as well as any other manufactured item can have a great impact on the turnkey cost of the home even though it might not be reflected in the materials package you buy from RippleCraft.
Other cost factors include your choice of posts vs. columns, number of dormers, chinked vs. not chinked, spikes vs. lag bolts and through bolts, open spanned areas, etc.
NOTE:All of these cost variables are related to materials only. Remember that buying a less expensive component will not always save you money in the long run. For instance, if you buy siding to use in your second floor areas rather than full logs to save money on your log kit, you will have a larger labor bill as logs take a lot less time to set. This should be considered when deciding on your choice of materials.
All of the items above can impact the cost of your home without in any way having an impact on the square footage. That is why there is not a magic pricing formula for custom log homes. We try and estimate based upon our history of custom home building, but there is no way to be exact.
Finally, we have already mentioned that the size of the home itself does impact the cost on a square footage basis. A home that is larger will tend to have a higher package price, even though the cost per square foot for the materials may be lower. Despite this fact, reducing the size of a home is the quickest and easiest way to reduce the overall package price of the home.